The art of wizardry may not have been born in Vantam, but it certainly grew up here. Over centuries, the city has become a flourishing hub for cutting edge magic with the best and brightest casters flocking to its glittering spires to study and practice the most advanced arcane mysteries the world has ever known. Magic evolves at an astounding rate as cohorts of wizards, sorcerers, and witches all bend their efforts at making the next leap forward in the arcane sciences. For those with the knowledge and talent to envision new possibilities, life is an exciting and prosperous. But for the mundane, for those who have no magic, life can be a cruel and difficult journey.
Prosperity and power are attained through magic in Vantam and held by those who have learned to exploit it to the fullest. As such, they have eliminated morality in their pursuit of knowledge. Concerns over should and should not are burdens that weigh the ship of progress. Instead, there is only the will to succeed, and the courage to go where others dare not. Though upstart activists may make noise about regulation and safety, the truly enlightened of Vantam have seen to it that the freedom to innovate has been protected and even expanded. They work to ensure a brighter future. A future unfettered by the cumbersome demands of those without the talent or genius to capitalize on the opportunities Vantam has to offer.
Vantam is divided into 5 districts, outlined below.
The Shorebend Side of the city is a hub for businesses, tourism, and international trade. Closer to the docks, warehouses dominate the landscape, while further inland there are markets, and hotels frequented by incoming travelers and merchants.
The industrial heart of Vantam. The blend of magic and technology makes this district a wonderland of arcane devices, constructs, and artifacts. The need for skilled workers has made this one of the few places in the city that offers the mundane citizenry economic opportunity. If you’re handy with the smith’s hammer, you can profit from the voracious needs of the artificers looking for crafted materials.
Every guild of arcane practitioners worth joining has a campus in Seven Towers. This is where casters push the boundary of arcane theory and explore the mysteries of the universe. It is named for the 7 towers of the Society for Magical Advancement and Exploration, the most prestigious magical academy on the continent. Wonders abound in this walled district, but it is wise not to become enchanted by the display. For those seeking to grow in their power, this place is best viewed not as a garden, but a hunting ground.
Fogdowns is the slum of the city. Pollution from The Bellows gives the district its unfortunate name, and the conditions here can get so bad that just walking outside can be dangerous. A near perpetual haze of acrid smog is one thing, but the runoff from discarded magical waste has been known to have bizarre and disastrous consequences for the populace forced to live here. With little political power and even fewer resources, the people of Fogdowns have small hope for improvement.
Those with means and privilege enjoy the idyllic vistas of Hollowsong Hills in style. Massive estates, impressive spires, and rainbow gardens dot the hillsides, with exquisite food and entertainment available on the streets below in the Hollowsong Valley. Living here is like living in a dream. The weather is always perfect, the streets are always clean, and everyone enjoys the finest things life has to offer. What no one asks, is what it costs to maintain this perpetual paradise, and whether it can be sustained without consequence to the rest of the world.
Vantam's most obvious social stratification is along lines magical aptitude. This serves as the greatest indicator of status, wealth, and prestige. The city has a massive wealth divide, with a huge population of impoverished citizens living hand to mouth while a smaller subset of the population enjoys luxury beyond the dreams of kings.
Vantam is run by a council of elected representatives who manage the city. Each district holds a seat and an arch-councilor presides. A separate table of 3 councilors is elected to safeguard the interests of the non-magical populace, and they are not beholden to any one district.
Industry & Trade
The lifeblood of Vantam is magical research and discovery. Almost everyone has a job connected to magic, even if they are themselves devoid of any magical talent. The linchpin in the economy is Mythricite . The magically active ore makes the proliferation of magic cheap and ubiquitous, allowing artificers, researchers, and spellcrafters the freedom to experiment with cutting edge magical innovations.
The city has an active magic-industrial scene concentrated primarily in The Bellows. Magically powered machinery services many of the city's needs for lighting, transportation, and manufacture of goods.
The lands surrounding Vantam were considered barren wasteland, only worth the trouble of conquering because of its prime access to the Gulf of Soldaan. The dragon-kin of The Drakeridge made this a nearly impossible endeavor that required a massive military campaign spanning a decade. The armies of Thaspier scoured The Drakeridge to rid the mountains of drakes, wyverns, and dragons that ruled the area. They drove out the wyrms, and in the process discovered deposits of a rare, magically active mineral called Mythricite. Vantam quickly became a hub of magical study thanks to its access to these unprecedented deposits, and since has flourished beyond what the founders ever thought possible.
Granite from The Drakeridge composes most of the buildings with imported wood being a luxury afforded by the wealthy as the pine harvested from the mountains makes for poor building material. The most prominent buildings by far are the Seven Towers of the university, which serve as beacons for incoming travelers by land, air, and sea.
Vantam is located on the Gulf of Soldaan on the Southern edge of Thaspier. To the East, the rocky peaks of The Drakeridge loom, and to the North, dry, barren scrub lands stretch for miles. However, Vantam enjoys a lush, temperate climate thanks to the magically engineered weather patterns maintained by powerful wizards in the city.